Information minister says city managers have been directed to create master plans for their future development
A meeting of the federal cabinet on Tuesday endorsed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance on the public hanging of rapists and sex offenders, said Information Minister Shibli Faraz.
Addressing media after the meeting, Faraz said that the prime minister firmly believed in Islamic laws and the Sunnah of Islam’s Prophet. “If Islam guides us to give punishment to rapists publicly then there must be some wisdom in it,” he claimed, adding that the government would not bow to pressure from the international community. This stands in contrast to an interview of Prime Minister Imran Khan in which he admitted that seeking public hangings would impact Pakistan’s exports, as it would negate the European Union’s GSP+ status for the country.
“Rapists must be hanged publicly so that they become an example for others,” claimed the minister, whose views have also been questioned by Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who has advised improving the conviction rate of sex crimes rather than introducing barbaric punishments.
The information minister said the cabinet had reviewed irregular constructions in major cities, and had directed their managers to formulate master plans that would discourage illegal construction and unplanned expansion of urban areas.
He said the cabinet had also reviewed an amendment to the Electoral Act to make it binding on all elected members to take oath of office within 60 days of elections. Citing the examples of senator-elect Ishaq Dar and MPA-elect Chaudhry Nisar, he said they had yet to take oath despite two years having passed since the last elections, depriving people of their right to representation.
The meeting reviewed the standard operating procedures introduced for educational institutions to curb the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff. Faraz said the cabinet had expressed satisfaction over resumption of educational activities for over 2.5 million children across the country and had urged all stakeholders to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines or risk a second wave of the virus.
According to the information minister, the cabinet also decided to demolish an under-construction jail in Islamabad on which Rs. 1.5 billion has already been spent. He said that the decision had been taken to preserve the federal capital’s green areas, adding the jail would now be constructed at an alternative place.
He said the government would conduct an inquiry against the officers who had allowed the construction in the first place.